“A Transfiguration from Within”
“…and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” [Matthew 17:2]
This is one of the most interesting and nostalgic passages in scripture for me. Interesting because it gives us insight into the very Being of our Lord Jesus Christ, fully Man and fully God. Nostalgic because it takes me back to my elementary school years when I watched a documentary on butterflies. It was a film on how the caterpillar is changed into a butterfly. It was in my second-grade class, and I even remember my second-grade teacher, Ms. Chung, trying to explain the word metamorphosis.
The word “transfigured” in Matt 17:2 is the word metamorphoo in the Greek, where we get our English word metamorphosis. Jesus was metamorphoo [transfigured] before His disciples’ very eyes.
It was an important revelation to Peter, James, and John. Jesus not only taught He is God; He showed them in the Transfiguration. What is also interesting about this passage is that Jesus told them not to share this vision with anyone until He had risen from the dead [ref. v.17:9]. There is God’s way and timing even in how we share Jesus.
It was some 30 years later that Peter referenced the Transfiguration in Scripture.
“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” [2 Pet 1:16-18]
One of the themes in Peter’s Epistles is warning against false teachers and false doctrine. In latter days there will be many! And one of the important tests to apply is the question, “who do you say that Jesus is?” Sound familiar? It should. It is exactly what Jesus asked Peter and His disciples in Matt 16:13.
The Transfiguration also points to an all-important principle in this life of faith: We must be transfigured [transformed] from within. Only a changed heart can produce a changed life, and a metamorphosis must occur from within for that to happen.
It is a Spiritual work that begins by putting our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. But it does not stop there. That is only the beginning. From there we must continue steadfastly in the things of God.
Worship, pray, remain in His Word, and remain in fellowship. Do these things continually, and these pillars in faith will not only uphold you but transform you from within. Try it and see.